Despite concerns from nearby residents, Steinbach City Council has approved the proposed development at Old Tom Road and Loewen Boulevard. 

Public hearings were held on Tuesday for two rezoning bylaws, a subdivision, and a change to the Official Community Plan, all for this one development. 

Ray Fast lives at that intersection and spoke at the public hearing. 

“I would like to officially oppose the proposed subdivision. I have resided here for 18 years and have expressed my concerns multiple times about flooding issues in my yard and draining issues from the creek closest to the corner of Loewen Boulevard and Old Tom Road.” 

Fast adds “the footprint of the commercial and high-density housing with surface water draining into the creek would result in major draining and flooding issues.” 

A number of others also expressed concerns around drainage. In fact, the RM of La Broquerie officially opposed the development on drainage grounds.  

Speaking on behalf of the developer, Waldo Neustaedter told council that the waterway through the planned neighbourhood should take care of these issues. 

“We developed a waterway like this at Grandview Drive. There were water issues and problems in that area and we had the engineering done at that time with the help of the City of Steinbach engineers and also with WSP Engineering Group and it has worked really well. We don't have flooding issues, we slowed the water up, we retain the water and then release it.” 

Developers told council the waterway is wide and has three “pinch-points” to ensure water is retained and escapes at an acceptable rate. 

Though nearby some neighbouring residents indicated they weren’t satisfied with this answer, Councillor Michael Zwaagstra says he was.  

“I understand many of the concerns that are raised but I also have to accept when there is evidence that is presented in terms of many months of work, engineering analysis done by the city and by engineers working for the developer, review by the province, this is taken seriously. This is important work that happens, we have good developments that happen within the city and so I think we have some great potential here.” 

This mock-up shows the entire Old Tom Loewen Development. This mock-up shows the entire Old Tom/Loewen Boulevard development. 

Traffic was another point of contention. Fast spoke on this as well. 

“I oppose the rezoning to high-density housing. The general area already has an abundance of high-density housing creating traffic concerns. This area is not designed for this and cannot accommodate this. Additional traffic noise will affect residents that border Old Tom Road and Park Road. It is already a major issue because these roads are being used as a city bypass and speedway and are not designed to handle this.” 

Councillor Jac Siemens acknowledged these concerns saying “When we paved Old Tom, there were a lot of unintended consequences and that becomes a way to bypass our Highway 12 and our Main Street and council is very well aware of that. We have talked about that at our study sessions and we continue to do that as part of our long-term planning process.” 

Siemens says the city routinely does traffic counts in the area and is monitoring the situation. He notes there is no definitive plan for that area yet, however, he says “We can plan much better now that we have this in front of us.” 

Council voted unanimously to allow the developer to move forward with the project.  

The first phase will include Commercial Mixed-Use development as well as Medium density, High density, single-family housing. It will also be connected to Steinbach by pedestrian corridors and walking paths.

On the left, a photo of the stop sign Old Tom and Loewen Boulevard The proposed development at Old Tom Road and Loewen Boulevard has high-density, low-density, and single-family development as well as commercial mixed-use space and a creek.